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Pritzker asks Illinois Supreme Court to stay Clay County contempt hearing and resolve the underlying legal issues with the Bailey case

Monday, Aug 10, 2020

* Filed by the state with the Illinois Supreme Court today. The opening and closing paragraphs

On July 2, 2020, the Circuit Court of Clay County entered an unenforceable and nonappealable partial summary judgment order against Defendant-Petitioner J.B. Pritzker in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Illinois. On August 7, 2020, that court ordered the Governor to appear in the Clay County Courthouse on Friday, August 14 and show cause why he should not be held in indirect civil contempt for his purported disregard of the July 2 order. The Governor requests that this Court exercise its supervisory authority under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 383 on an emergency basis to immediately stay the contempt hearing set for August 14, 2020, pending the resolution of this motion. Additionally, the Governor asks this Court to exercise its supervisory authority to answer the underlying legal question raised by this case, which is whether the Governor acted within the scope of his authority under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act (“Act” or “IEMAA”), 20 ILCS 3305/1 et seq., and Illinois Constitution in issuing disaster proclamations and executive orders in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. […]

Defendant-Petitioner J.B. Pritzker, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Illinois, requests that under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 383, this court immediately stay the contempt hearing scheduled for August 14, 2020, in this case pending the resolution of this motion. Additionally, the Governor requests that this Court answer the underlying legal question raised by this case, which is whether the Governor has acted within the scope of his authority under the Act and Illinois Constitution in issuing disaster proclamations and executive orders in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the course of definitively answering that important question, this Court should stay the proceedings below, expedite the response to this motion, and ultimately reverse the circuit court’s July 2, 2020 order.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Derek Smalls - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    I really hope the Supremes accept the motion and rule on the underlying matter, get some finality on this case.


  2. - Nieva - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    My court is bigger than your court…


  3. - Retired and still in Illinois - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    The good counselor’s calendar is filling up fast. Hope he has room to squeeze in NCAA/Big 10 to stop more injustice. s/


  4. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    At a minimum, the Supreme Court should issue a stay until the suit is put into a position that is appealable. The governor should have the ability to appeal before he’s cited for contempt. Optimally, they’ll toss out the whole case.


  5. - JoanP - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    =The governor should have the ability to appeal before he’s cited for contempt.=

    Contempt proceedings are separate from the underlying case, though they arise from it.

    Typically, one is held in contempt and then appeals from the finding of contempt. It’s not necessary to wait for the underlying case to be decided. And in most situations, the contempt *ought* to be resolved first. For example, a subpoena is issued ordering a non-party to turn over documents, and he refuses. He’s held in contempt, appeals, and the Appellate Court decides if the trial court judge was right or wrong. It would make no sense for a judge to say, “I can’t hold you in contempt until after the case is over”, because the evidence is needed to resolve the case.


  6. - Red Ketcher - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    Appears to be very well written. What happens ?


  7. - Silent Majority - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    The Supreme Court should let this play out thru the process. Just because you’re the Gov. doesn’t expedite you thru the process. How all of us read the Illinois Constitution doesn’t matter, it’s those in black robes that make the rulings as part of the process that have a say in the game. The rest of us are just spinning on the sidelines…..


  8. - Miso - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    If the purpose of the contempt proceeding is to compel performance, the proceedings are civil. If however the proceeding is to punish past conduct (say, disregarding an order) the proceeding is criminal. I’m not sure the Clay judge wants anything other than punishment. If so, the contemnor needs to be indicted, or an information needs to be filed.


  9. - Pundent - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 5:16 pm:

    =The Supreme Court should let this play out thru the process.=

    If the plaintiff and judge were taking the necessary steps to allow the judicial process to play out I would agree with you. But it appears that they aren’t really interested in making a judicial statement as much as they are a political one.


  10. - Quenton Cassidy - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 5:21 pm:

    JoanP is correct on the law and typical process.

    Highlights the need for a judiciary that is….judicious.


  11. - sal-says - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 5:36 pm:

    De-annex clay county (little c’s appropriately).


  12. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    Pundent, I agree, it’s just Clay County political grandstanding.


  13. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 7:17 pm:

    Since this case involves a newly created constitutional right (fishing), it should go directly to the Supreme Court. /s


  14. - Red Ketcher - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:09 am:

    The Motion extensively addresses Typical Process and argues that it has been roadblocked in the Circuit Court which therefore dictates that Sup Ct Supervisory Authority should be exercised. The Motion lays out a situation that is comletely different than the Typical failure to Comply with a pretrial Discovery Order. So they contend that it’s time Non Typical Process. Maybe ?


  15. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 8:32 am:

    The judge’s behavior here is fascinating.

    How does he think he can enter an ex parte Rule to Show Cause? It is not like people can’t find the Governor.

    His clear bias is getting close to JIB territory.


  16. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 8:46 am:

    Silent Majority - as someone who has criticized the Supreme Court for saving a “silver bullet” to kill the next gerrymandering petition, if there was EVER a time for them to exercise their power to expedite an appeal, it’s during a Pandemic.


  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:28 am:

    Defend freedom.


  18. - Chicago Red Fish - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    This whole blog is full of uncivil comments, but I bet there is a double standard as usual if you have a D next to your name.

    If it wasn’t for double standards…


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